I've been sitting here wrestling with what to write this morning - not because I don't want to thank so many of you who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, but it's a challenge trying to come up with a different way to express my appreciation.
To start, I want to thank all the friends we have who have served our country with pride, dignity, and respect. My Dad, our son, "Uncle Randy," so many friends from high school over the years and the sons and daughters of friends serving today.
I always wanted a house with a flagpole. We had a flag we'd put out on key holidays, but never a permanent position. In December 2016 we bought a house with a flagpole, and the previous owners left their flag.
Last year we received an extraordinary gift from our son and daughter-in-law. A new flag with the attached certificate. We saved the flag for the new house and waited until our son was here to be part of the change.
On a day last spring, we took down the old flag and folded it for return to Fort Bragg to be properly retired. We proudly pulled the new flag up to its permanent home. While it might seem a sappy display of patriotism to some, it was important to us.
I want to thank all of you who have served, those who are serving now and especially the families of those who serve. That old question from the 60's, 70's and 80's of "Do you know where your children are?" is even more difficult when your kids have chosen to serve their country and you honestly don't know.
So, this Veteran's Day 2017, thank you for your service. Because of you, so many of us have the opportunity to proudly hang a flag in front of our homes today.